Category Archives: On being an artist

My WOTY -or Word of the Year

I’ve finally settled on my guiding word for 2017. 

FOCUS

Pay particular attention to and concentrate. 

I will be focusing in particular on a few things in my art business. 

  1. Developing my online workshops
  2. Making better art
  3. Teaching lots of people both in my studio, as a guest instructor and online
  4. Getting more gallery representation
  5. Increasing my marketing efforts – more videos and blog posts in particular

That is the art business plan. 

Now for my harp business.

  1. Continue teaching my 5 students
  2. Work on developing new repertoire
  3. Plan a harp concert
  4. Start a harp ensemble
  5. Play for more weddings

In my Interior Design Business

  1. Upgrading my computer drafting skills
  2. Niche market to seniors overwhelmed with renos and downsizing

In my personal life I have some things to focus on too. 

  1. Plan more days off and mini getaways
  2. Finish some nagging projects
  3. Planning home improvement renos
  4. Spend more time in the garden?
  5. Spend more time in the sauna

My next step is to make a visual reminder of it. 

Have you picked your word for ?

Would you like to make it into a visual reminder?

I have a workshop coming up just for that. 

You can find out about it here. 

Looking Back

I always find this time of year to be one of reflection. To look back over the past year and review what worked, what didn’t, what I want to do less of, what I want to do more of, how I stacked up to my goals and the list of questions goes on! 

Take some time to answer these questions:

  • What are 3 things you will stop doing?  Do you have commitments you are resentful of? Do you have habits that are not serving you?  Are there time wasters that are keeping you from doing what you love. 
  • What are 3 things you will start doing?  How will you stretch out of your comfort zone? What new practices will you implement? 
  • What are 3 things you will continue doing?   What is working well and you want to keep doing? 

In order to move forward it is necessary to look back. 

In order to move forward we need to analyze, question and tweak. 

If we are in business as an artist (or otherwise) we need to take a step back and look from the outside in.

We need to work on our business not in our business. The last week of the year is my planning time.  Where I look at the big picture! Where I map out the year. 

This isn’t written in stone but is a guideline. The plan gets tweaked many times along the way. 

The most important thing is to have a plan. Without a plan closer to our dreams or goals. 

Taking action on our plan is the next step. 

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Painting Studies

While preparing for my recent abstract landscape workshops I decided to do a bunch of small paintings on paper to show my students various techniques and compositional styles.  I really discovered the benefits of painting several studies in succession.

  • Safe – not a big commitment
  • It allows us to explore composition
  • The freedom to try new and different colour palettes
  • Try different techniques and tools
  • Improves painting skills by working quickly
  • Can be done when we don’t have a lot of time to paint
  • Ideas for future paintings
  • Discovering new techniques

Here is a sampling of some of them.

 

Play Big

This is a painting I did with cold wax and oil paint. For some reason the words “If life is a game Play Big” came up. It got me thinking about what play big means.

Scrivener - Play Big

Play Big is going to mean something different for everyone. The next step of your journey, something you are facing that is fearful, a big dream you want to take.

For me playing big means getting my art work and my music out there more.

It also means inspiring and helping other people to aspire to their dreams. That could come through teaching harp or art, decorating houses or coaching people to find their big.

When you do decide on what your big is it is amazing how stuff starts to show up and opportunities align with your “big”

So, where are you playing big right now?

If you are not playing big what is holding you back?

If you feel stuck with your creativity and want to break through the barriers book a free thirty minute Empowerment Call. You will be able to ask questions about the process about coaching and about what to expect if we work together. The goal of this call is to see if we are a good coach/client match, and whether or not you might want to work with me to break through the barriers and “Play Big”

If we decide that we are not a good fit, no harm done – we will both have learned something in the process.

Click here to request your free call.

 

 

 

 

 

Life is a Balancing Act

 

park benchI thought I would do a follow up post on my 2016 guiding work “BALANCE”

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to me and how I am going to achieve it.

I have used two tools to help me

Journaling:

 writing down all of my thoughts at the end of the day to discover what I enjoyed and what I didn’t enjoy/

Life Balance Wheel:

A tool I use with my coaching clients to help people visually scale areas in their life.

 

What I have discovered so far

I feel out of balance when

  • I work too much – and yes this means paint too!
  •  I haven’t had meaningful conversations with anyone other than my husband
  •  When I have not spent enough time making music
  • When I have enjoyed live performance in a while
  • When my house is out of order
  • When I feel rushed and pressured
  • When I don’t take time to meditate
  • When I spend too much time on the computer
  • When I don’t spend time in nature
  • When I don’g create

I have never embraced a 9.00 to 5.00 working philosophy so that is not going to happen now. I have never known the difference between a weekday and a weekend. I have been self employed for over 30 years.  I work ANYTIME.  Sometimes I work ALL THE TIME!

I for the most part have always loved my work. It does not seem like work. It is hard to stop.

For me it requires great discipline not to work!  It really is just a lifestyle for me but I know it is not healthy.

So what to do!

Five Things I am Implementing

  1. Get out into nature once a week or more. ( A walk in the neighbourhood does not count!)
  2. Balance my Chakras daily
  3. Connect with a friend for a conversation every week
  4. Schedule time to play music – by myself or with others
  5. Enjoy an evening sauna to relax and catch up on reading or journaling

What do you do to stay in balance? Is it something you struggle with or could use some help with. I am offering a complimentary thirty minute coaching call to help you find your BALANCE.

Skype, google hangout,  phone or in person. Just contact me  to set up a time.

 

Cheers – here is to a balanced week ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to My Roots

1602 Scrivener- Back to My Roots SM

This is the second painting of 2016. A remnant from a class demo on landscape painting that took a few twists and turns today.

I find myself doing a lot of reflecting at this time of year and this painting takes me back to my roots.

Growing up on a farm on the prairies seemed like a simpler time. A time with less stimuli and more time to ponder. Long snowy days and days filled with sunshine.

A time when neighbours dropped by and had time for a visit.

Simpler in terms of stuff! We lived simple – a small house only 400 sq. feet with 2 bedrooms in the eaves. By today’s standards that would be crowded for 6 people. It was the way it was, we did not know any different. I have already experienced the small house movement that is becoming all the rage.

Farm house

The larger house in this photo belonged to my grandfather.  When I was around 14 we built a new house. I got my own bedroom!

We lived outside a lot.  We did not have many toys but invented toys and games. I learned to skate at the neighbours house on the outdoor rink using skates two sizes too big stuffed with tissue.

In grade one I went to the one room school a mile away and we walked to and from most days. It had to be extremely cold to get a ride.

Carlea School

 

I learned to play softball in grade one on a mixed team, There where only 16 of us in the school up to grade eight.

I drooled over the art of a grade four boy.

Although I can never go back could I just recreate some of that simpler living in our now complex world? I think that lines up with my guiding word for 2016 -BALANCE

Slow down, take time to ponder and reflect.

Simplify

What are you pondering?

Leave a comment  – I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

My Guiding Word for 2016

Every year I select one word as a focus word to guide me through the year. I have decided on “BALANCE”  as my word for 2016. Balance

balance

Balance is having the right amount — not too much or too little — of any quality, which leads to harmony or evenness.

In 2015 I found I was out of balance and spent too much time in my art business.  It is hard not to when you love what you do! My studio is like a magnet. But at the same time I felt that I did not stay fresh and I felt burnt out at times.

What does that mean for 2016?

It means I am going to reduce the hours I spend on art and art related work.

I am going to spend more time in nature. Walking, canoeing, and camping. This is where I connect with my inner self and become refreshed and renewed. Balance

In turn this leads to better work.

I am going to spend more time on music – both making it myself and listening to it live. This is another activity that feeds my soul.

I am going to spend time doing projects that have been put on hold.  Unfinished projects take lots of energy!

I am going to explore some new activities – like belly fit, zumba and Qi Gong.

I am going to meditate more.

I am going to connect with friends more regularly. Being an artist is an insular life and it is easy to spend too much time in your own thoughts!

How am I going to do this? 

I am going to rely on a schedule. I know that sounds linear for a creative person but it is the only way I will be able to replace some of my studio time an achieve my goal of balance.

What is your guiding word for 2016?

10 Things to Try When You Have a Stuck Painting

My guiding word for this year is COMPLETE so even though I work on more than one painting at a time I am working hard to finish them and not loose interest when I hit a block. Here is a list of 10 things to try if you have a stuck painting. Go ahead and give them a try!

  1. Don’t worry about the end result – you are stuck!
  2. Try adding a new colour
  3. Bring out the sandpaper
  4. Use coloured construction paper to block oiut areas
  5. Take a photo and look at it on a large computer monitor
  6. Turn your painting upside down
  7. Try adding a different medium
  8. Try a different brush stroke
  9. Draw into your painting
  10. Put away your brush and use your fingers or unorthodox tools!

If you need more guidance I put a workshop together to help you get to “THE FINISH LINE” – it is one day  and you will leave feeling good about moving forward on a few of those stuck pieces.

You can register online or by phone at 250-248-2775

 

unfinished-paintings

Why Choose a Guiding Word?

When I wear my other hat as a life coach I help people to get clear on their intentions and to pick ONE guiding word for the year.

A guiding word keeps our awareness sharp around that which we want to focus on. Last year my word was Systems. Through out the year I implemented some new SYSTEMS particularily in my studio. I still have plenty to do in this area! Is it every really done as we change grow and expand?

I have pondered long and hard on this years word as I had a few contenders. I have finally settled on COMPLETE. I think this encompasses two other words – focus and efficient. In order to complete I am going to have to stay focussed and by completing I am going to be more efficient.  Some of the completion revolves around the system. A system only works if it is implemented and has follow through. That is my weakness! In all my previous businesses I have been able to delegate to get all the tasks finished. Now for the most part I am a one woman act! I live by the motto ” If it is meant to be it is up to me”!

I always like to create a visual to hang in my studio as a reminder of my guiding word. I encourage you to do one too!

Here is COMPLETE!

Just a fast painting with collaged letters in my journal.

Guiding Word -Complete LRI would love to have you join me in finding your guiding word. Please leave a comment with your Guiding word.

Now here is to COMPLETING!

Patt

2014 Year in Review

Here are a some highlights of 2014

I achieved my AFCA status with the Federation of Canadian Artists.

If you want to read more about that check out this earlier blog post.

Success Show

 

 “Shopping Spree” was accepted into the Sooke Fine Art Show

1401 - Scrivener - Shopping Spree - 36x36 - LR “Jumping Through Hoops” was accepted into the Sidney Fine Art Show1485 - Scrivener - Jumping Through Hoops - 36x36 - HR b

 I had two paintings juried into the FCA Arrowsmith Fall Show and received Second place for “Music to My Ears”

 

1402 - Scrivener - Music to My Ears - 48x48 - WRScrivener - Sing Along 30x24I painted a daily painting every day for 3 months – 92 paintings!

Several paintings found a new home – here are some of them~